"THE NORMANDY VETERANS - (Lest We Forget)"
A collection of images from The Normandy Veterans - (Lest We Forget) Project which I did circa 1998-2002. Which is very fitting considering it is the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings tomorrow - Saturday 6th June 2009.
Over the course of four years whilst taking photographs of surviving British D-Day and Normandy Veterans from the Hull & District Branch of the Normandy Veterans Association I came to know many individuals very well. Sadly due to the ravages of time a lot of these old warriors are no longer with us. So I will take this opportunity to say thank you to a select few from this band of brothers who are no longer with us (these are just a few of the many individual's who I came to know very well).
If they were still with us, I have no doubt at all that they would be in Normandy to pay their respects to many of their former young fallen friends and comrades who landed from the air and sea onto Normandy soil on the evening of 5th June and the morning of 6th June 1944 (the Longest Day).
ROLL OF HONOUR
Maxwell Vernon Hearst - East Yorkshire Regiment.
Tom Lyons - Royal Army Medical Corps.
Bob Thompson - Royal Military Police.
Len Pounder - Pioneer Corps.
Ben Bainbridge - RAF Regiment.
Alf Mellor - Royal Navy.
John Smith - Merchant Navy.
I should point out that I fully realise that Operation Overlord did not just involve British forces (even though Hollywood does tend to change history). Our allies included Canada, America, Poland and many other countries. Over 150,000 soldiers landed on five designated beaches on the morning of 6th June 1944, in what was and still is the largest military operation of it's kind.
Another 20,000 landed from the sky in gliders or by parachute. At the end of this day some 10,000 Allied servicemen were either dead, wounded or listed as missing (over 2,000 of those were casualties on Omaha beach alone). German forces suffered over 35,000 casualties that day. The battle for Normandy took another ten weeks and cost some 500,000 casualties on all sides. In May 1945 the war in Europe was finally over.
Trevor David Betts BA (Hons.)
Former 24296655 Cpl, 2nd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment, British Army (1979-1988).
7th (V) Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment TAVR (1972 -1979).
5th June 2009.
Copyright of all images and work displayed upon this blog spot are the exclusive property of Trevor David Betts. All rights reserved.